Thu, May 26, 2022 12:17 PM
By Associated Press, AP
BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — A court in Moldova placed former President Igor Dodon under 30-day house arrest on Thursday as he faces an investigation into suspected treason, corruption, illicit enrichment and illegal party financing.
The ruling came after Dodon, who served as Moldova's president from 2016 to 2020 and leads the Eastern European country’s pro-Russian opposition bloc, was detained Tuesday at his home in the capital of Chisinau after it was searched by investigators.
Speaking as he left a courtroom Thursday, Dodon claimed the charges against him were politically motivated and at the behest of foreign powers.
“It is a political issue aimed at neutralizing the opposition,” Dodon said in a video published by Moldovan news site Protv.md. “It is strange and despicable for those who ... filled all the state institutions with foreign, Romanian, American and German advisers, who control all of the institutions, to accuse me of treason.”
Following Dodon's detention, senior anti-corruption prosecutor Elena Cazacov said the subjects of the police investigation were “mainly one of the former presidents of the Republic of Moldova and those close to him, but also other persons who have a connection to the commission of the alleged acts.”
Dodon has denied wrongdoing. In a post on Facebook on Tuesday, he wrote that he had explanations for any allegations.
“This is not the first time I have become the target of a politically directed and directed justice system,” he wrote.
One of Europe’s poorest countries, Moldova is an ex-Soviet republic that gained independence in 1991.
Russia maintains troops — nominally peacekeepers — in the separatist Moldovan region of Transnistria, a disputed, Russian-backed breakaway state that borders southwestern Ukraine.